UK Adult Hosting Sites: Banks May Soon Deny Processing Payments

UK Adult Hosting Sites

We've talked about the UK porn filter before. In case you missed it, you can check out that article *here*.UK Adult Hosting Sites

So let's raise an important point, which I believe has been raised here on the blog before, which I was thinking about with the recent news of a new form of punishment for adult hosting sites.

UK Adult Hosting Sites: Banks To Punish Adult Hosting Sites?

Before we get to that important point, let's look at the problem. After instituting country-wide porn filters that block adult hosting sites (which, thankfully, households have the option to opt-in on explicit content if they so choose), the government wants to give banks the authority to deny processing payments to any adult hosting sites that publish legal content but do nothing to prevent children from accessing that content.

Essentially, if you aren't following the rules, you aren't getting paid. A summit will take place some time this month in order to agree on a plan. If no agreement is voluntarily reached, the government is prepared to step in and create legislation and force the matter.

Certain websites don't perform any age verification check, unlike others that can't be accessed unless a users age is verified. The Authority for Television on Demand (Atvod) exists to monitor websites in the UK that host video content, and is leading the charge against non-compliant sites.

UK Adult Hosting Sites: In The Cross-hairs

Playboy was one of the first to be punished, according to the Telegraph, and there have been others. Apparently, Playboy offers video content that minors can access with no trouble whatsoever (UK Adult Hosting Sites).

But is it okay to target all of these seemingly non-compliant sites? Since it is not okay to flat-out block free adult sites (it's absolutely legal for those over 18 to view the content), it seems some recourse must be taken to assure sites are performing accurate age verification procedures.

UK Adult Hosting Sites: Free Isn't Necessarily Free

What happens is these sites attract users in with free videos. From there, they can sell a premium service, enticing users to pay for better, longer lasting videos and other add-on services.

If there is no age verification process for the free service (it stands to reason that someone under 18 does not have access to a credit card, so they'll not be able to upgrade), why should that non-compliant company receive payment? This is the view of the UK government: if you aren't going to play by the rules, you aren't going to get any money.

UK Adult Hosting Sites: The Future?

It seems banks and credit card companies are on board with this idea, and soon, the UK Cards Association, the Payments Council, the British Bankers Association, and the top credit card companies will meet at a summit to discuss this idea.

How far is Cameron prepared to take this (UK Adult Hosting Sites)? Should all of this content be blocked, and adult hosting websites be punished for publishing legal content by financial institutions? That's kind of the beauty of the Internet: you can find just about anything. While I agree that children shouldn't have access to pornography, isn't that the role of the parent, to assure their children aren't seeing things they shouldn't?

More importantly, who's deciding which content is appropriate and which content is not? It is subjective, so it seems to me there is a lot of work involved with the implementation of this proposed law.

Do you run an adult hosting sites? What are your thoughts on this topic?

Top 3 Canadian Adult Hosting Companies

Canadian Adult Hosting Companies

It can be difficult to find a hosting provider willing to host your adult website. Adult hosting sites mean an increased risk of legal issues, and most providers simply don't want to get involved.

So how do you find the best choice in terms of an adult hosting company in Canada to host your website? Take a look at these.

Adult Hosting Providers

Canadian Adult Hosting Providers

1. Canadian Adult Hosting Provider: Carat Networkscarat networks with Canadian adult hosting

Carat Networks is located south of Toronto in Hamilton, Ontario, and promises high quality hosting services at a cheap hosting price. They realize that each business has different needs, and strives to meet those needs thanks to a multitude of options in terms of hosting packages. As long as your adult content is not illegal or underage, they'll provide hosting services no matter what.

Carat offers dedicated server packages starting as low as $92.60 per month, giving you real-time bandwidth stats, free remote reboot, and 6TB of data transfer. Each server is custom built, and Carat Networks promises a speedy setup.

Is VPS hosting more your speed? Their basic plan is $15 per month, offering 50GB of storage, 500GB bandwidth, and 512MB RAM. Real-time bandwidth stats and remote reboot are also offered with VPS hosting packages.

Maybe shared hosting is what you're looking for. If so, sign on to their basic plan for $7.99 per month. That gives you 10GB of storage and 250GB bandwidth, 99.9% uptime, and phpMyAdmin for easy database management.

2. Canadian Adult Hosting Provider: Adult Hosting

The self-proclaimed “leader in adult hosting in Canada,” Adult Hosting seeks to preserve free speech on the Internet. However, if there is any content the company deems as illegal or objectionable, the site can be shut down without notice. Adult Hosting lists several violations within its ‘Acceptable Use Policy,’ and includes things like forgery or impersonation, harm to minors, SPAM, harassment, and scams. Pornographic content is not allowed on a VPS hosting site. In short: read the fine print!

Adult Hosting offers domain transfer and registration, as well as issue SSL certificates. Looking for colocation? Unmanaged plans start at $50 per month and managed plans at $99 per month.

Dedicated server hosting plans start at $99 per month, which gets you 1GB RAM, 10TB bandwidth, and 500GB storage. Looking for a cheaper option? Choose a shared hosting package, starting at only $3.95 per month. That gets you 50GB storage and unlimited bandwidth for one domain.

3. Canadian Adult Hosting Provider: Netelligent

Montreal's ‘Netelligent Hosting Services’ offers a wide range of hosting solutions, all of which allow adult content provided it is not illegal or in the child pornography realm. Netelligent has six data centers, and there are plans in the works to open a seventh within the next few months.

All of their plans offer free setup when signing a 12-month contract, 24/7 support, and 99.9% uptime.

If you want your adult site hosted in the cloud, choose their Linux plan that starts at 10GB storage for $22 per month, or their Windows plan that starts at $71 per month.

Is dedicated hosting the right choice for your website? Plans start at $89 per month for 500GB storage and 5000GB bandwidth.

Maybe shared hosting fits your budget better. If so, they have plans that start at just $50 per year, offering 1GB of space and unlimited bandwidth for one website.

Do you rely on any of these providers to host your website? How has your experience been?

A Trip Back In Internet History

A Trip Back In Internet History

A Trip Back In Internet HistoryYou know those little news segments like “This Day in History?” Well, Boing Boing runs a story entitled “This Day in Blogging History” each day. It's fun to see the blog posts of news from cheap hosting site all around the Web from years ago.

Let's look at a few they point out, and a couple of others of interest which I've discovered.

A Trip Back In Internet History: ONE YEAR AGO

The day was August 17, 2012. On this day, Techdirt's online store began offering t-shirts catering to the copyfighter, a person who fights to uphold the openness and freedom of the cheap hosting websites on the Internet. One is the classic DMCA notice, “The content of this t-shirt has been removed due to a DMCA takedown notice.” The other: the seized tee. It bears fake logos complete with eagles, representative of the logos of different Fed departments, and the slogan “This t-shirt has been seized.” What better way to showcase your disapproval of the government and their censorship practices than with one of these t-shirts?

A Trip Back In Internet History: THREE YEARS AGO

On August 17, 2010 the site featured a story of the Callicebus caquetensis, a newly discovered species of titi monkey living in the Colombian Amazon. The blog post points out that monkey was discovered for the first time in an area off limits “due to a violent insurgence,” according to scientists who discovered the monkey. They also found that there are less than 250 of these monkeys living in the wild thanks to the destruction of their habitat by humans.

A Trip Back In Internet History: FIVE YEARS AGO

On August 17, 2008 a post featured the blurb about Murilee Martin, who visited the Monterey Historic Automobile Races and returned home with gorgeous pictures of vintage automobile emblems and hood ornaments.

A Trip Back In Internet History: SEVEN YEARS AGO

On August 17, 2006, they disclosed that a documentary on Al Franken entitled “God Spoke” would be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

A Trip Back In Internet History: TEN YEARS AGO

On August 17, 2003 the issue of “interactive porn” was discussed. At this time, the New York Times had run an article discussing the increasing interest in these types of DVDs. Boing Boing pointed out that at that time, there was a popular DVD set selling for $31 per DVD featuring nine discs in all. These DVDs claimed that if you watched them, it was like having virtual sex with a handful of stars. It's like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” for porn, where the viewer chooses how to respond and what acts to perform with the actress. The viewer also gets to choose the personality of the star: will she be dominant, or submissive? You decide!

It is interesting to note the NYT article discusses the goal of porn companies for the future: hologram technology, bringing the porn star right into your living room. Said the creator and co-owner of Digital Playground, creator of these virtual porn DVDs, “We already shoot our girls against a black background for our interactive DVDs…That way, when we perfect hologram technology, we can cancel out the black background and bring the subject into three-dimensional space. Men will love it. They'll sit in front of their giant-screen TV, turn off the lights and the only thing lit will be the girl.”

It's interesting to look back on the porn industry then, and to see the number of adult hosting sites rising over the years. Today, these adult hosting sites are more popular than DVDs due to the on-demand nature. And with the news released in early 2012 that Japan has invented a technology that creates not only holograms, but holograms you can actually touch.

Isn't it fun to look back in Internet history to see how far we've come?

Photo courtesy of Horia Varlen via Flickr Creative Commons

Which State Features the Most Adult Hosting Sites?

Adult Hosting Sites

California state flag Adult Hosting SitesEver wonder which country hosts the most porn? How about which state in the US features the most adult hosting sites? Well, in case you did, there's a company that has compiled this data just for you!

And it's kind of ironic: the company that compiled this data, MetaCert, offers Internet users various tools to keep children from viewing inappropriate content while online. So who made the list? Let's take a look.

Top Adult Hosting Sites Countries

When it comes to countries, America is by far the winner: 60% of the world's porn is hosted in the good old USA. That's 428 million adult hosting pages! The Netherlands comes in at number two (26%, 187 million pages) with the UK coming in at number three with 7%, 52 million pages.

How about the bottom of the list? Poland hosts a mere 505,000 pages. Wondering how other countries stack up? Here's a breakdown of the top 20:

  • US – 428.3 million pages
  • Netherlands – 187.2 million pages
  • UK – 52.2 million pages
  • Germany – 8.2 million pages
  • France – 5.5 million pages
  • Canada – 2.3 million pages
  • Japan – 2.2 million pages
  • Australia – 1.9 million pages
  • British Virgin Islands – 1.4 million pages
  • Czech Republic – 1.4 million pages
  • Ukraine – 1.1 million pages
  • Taiwan – 935,000 pages
  • Spain – 935,000 pages
  • Bahamas – 889,000 pages
  • Austria – 769,000 pages
  • Switzerland – 766,000 pages
  • Belgium – 728,000 pages
  • Russia – 638,000 pages
  • Hungary – 583,000 pages
  • Poland – 505,000 pages

Top Adult Hosting Sites States

So, of those 428 million US adult hosting sites, what states host the most? The clear winner: California, hosting 66% of all adult sites in the US, followed nowhere near closely by New York and Texas, both with 8%, Arizona and Illinois with 2% each, and New Jersey, Florida, and Washington with 1% each.

The least likely place to see adult hosting sites: Alaska. Only 10,363 pages of pornographic content are hosted there.

Top Porn TLDs

Again, it's not surprising that .com is the most popular TLD for porn, accounting for 82.46% of all adult hosting sites. .net is second with 7.76%, and .nl with 2.35.%.

Conclusions

So why does America love porn so much anyway? It's not really a love of porn this study demonstrates. Remember, it's the top countries featuring adult hosting sites. One reason is likely because the US is one of the most common countries for a website to be hosted, along with the Netherlands. Let's not forget most of these hosting providers aren't very restrictive in terms of what kind of content they'll host. The Netherlands are even more lenient.

Another reason: the US legal system and freedom of speech. As the old saying goes, we have bigger fish to fry than worrying about adult content. As long as our kids don't see it, who cares?

Does any of the information above surprise you?

UK Mandatory Web Filter And What It Means For Web Hosting Companies

UK Mandatory Web Filter

uk flag UK Mandatory Web FilterWe've discussed the UK government's plan to make the Internet a safer place for children by making adult hosting content filters mandatory. In case you didn't catch those articles, here's a recap: PM David Cameron is requiring porn filters be activated in every household in the UK unless the user opts out of it when signing up for service.

The ISP will simply change the default of the filters to “on” for new subscribers unless the user opts out. Those who already subscribe will have the chance to opt out, and if they don't, the filters will be automatically applied by the ISP.

It isn't just adult hosting content that will be blocked. Other objectionable material filtered out: violent material; web forums; tools that exist to bypass web filters; and content regarding anorexia, eating disorders, suicide, terrorism, and extremism. The organization Open Rights Group is concerned, however, that some sites will be mistaken for “adult” and blocked due to the fact what is considered adult content varies from person to person.

UK Mandatory Web Filter: Should All Hosting Companies Be Concerned?

Probably not. The majority of hosting companies won't find that their sites are affected, as long as it doesn't feature adult content. University of Cambridge security researcher Richard Clayton says it all depends on how the individual ISPs implement the filters. “In general the block will be applied at the domain name level rather than the IP level,” he said.

Basically, if one finds both racy, nude pictures and innocent family shots on the same IP and server, the family shots will be safe as long as they exist on separate domains. Added to that, said Clayton, is the fact most pornographic sites are hosted on dedicated servers rather than existing in a shared hosting environment due to the excessive bandwidth and storage requirements.

UK Mandatory Web Filter: What About The Search Engines?

Google Image Search could find themselves in trouble for the content that is displayed, along with other sites that pull content from around the Web. Also in trouble: sites like Tumblr. Because filtering is done on the domain side, they may be filtered because of the few adult content subdomains they host.

However, filters already exist within both Google Image Search and Tumblr, where content is classified as adult or NSFW, like ‘safe search.' This filters the content based on age-appropriateness, but can be prone to over- or under-filtering. Although it's no guarantee sites will be given the green light, giving users the option to filter adult hosting content casts that site in a more favorable light when the decision needs to be made whether or not to filter that site entirely.

UK Mandatory Web Filter: Do Filters Even Matter?

There are some that say these filters don't matter at all, since it is so very easy to opt out of the program. Some say that the issue isn't properly addressed. “A lot of people have argued that this basically provides a false sense of security for parents in that they're going to believe that nothing can be seen by their precious little Johnny,” said Clayton. “And once you start taking technical measures in order to evade these blocks, they can see anything they want.”

Another issue: it won't filter out those sites that exist on the deep web. Tor is becoming more popular for both accessing questionable content and getting around surveillance.

In the end, the majority of web hosting companies won't need to worry. Although they aren't 100% responsible for the content they host, they can have some say in what they will and won't host.

What do you think about this issue?